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Flowers from Michael Sheen at campaigner's funeral

The funeral is underway of Rhymney mining campaigner Dave Green. It was feared he could have had a pauper's funeral, but following a fundraising campaign backed by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen a big funeral has been held for him.

Around 60 people have gathered to say farewell to Valleys mining campaigner Dave Green.

Newport-born Sheen could not attend the funeral due to filming commitments but sent a floral tribute, reading: 'In memory of Dave Green - a strong voice used well. Rest in peace, Dave. It was an honour to meet you. Michael Sheen'.

A floral tribute from Hollywood actor Michael Sheen.

Watch Megan Boot's report from the service:

Funeral for penniless activist after Sheen-backed fundraiser

A service takes place this afternoon for a penniless mining activist spared a pauper's funeral following a fundraising campaign backed by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen.

Dave Green was a well-known campaigner against open-cast mining in Rhymney and a member of United Valleys Action Group.

He lost his battle with cancer last month - but died with no money and no family.

Michael Sheen (R) was among those who stepped in to prevent Dave Green (L) having a pauper's funeral. Credit: United Valleys Action Group

Newport-born Sheen met the 73-year-old while filming a documentary and was among those who backed a campaign to give Mr Green a proper send-off.

More than £4,000 has been raised by the local community for the funeral this afternoon.

Michael Sheen launches Swansea children's rights pledge

Hollywood actor and Unicef ambassador Michael Sheen has been meeting young people in Swansea today, to unveil the city's new commitment to children's rights.

Sheen, who is from Port Talbot, spoke to pupils from Hafod Primary School and Pentrehafod Comprehensive School, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Swansea Council is introducing the Children and Young People's Rights Scheme - which will mean council officers and members have to pay due regard to children's rights in all decision-making.

Swansea says it is the first local authority in the UK to voluntarily make a public commitment to children's rights.


Council 'will consider' Michael Sheen's ideas

Newport City Council has responded to an open letter by actor Michael Sheen, criticising it for demolishing the city's Chartist Mural.

The council says the decision to remove the mural was made last year.

It says Sheen's letter is "interesting" and "contains some practical suggestions which the council will consider."

His ideas include looking into the possibility of students from art schools and design courses working on a new commemoration of the Chartist uprising of 1839.

The Hollywood star, who was born in Newport and grew up in Port Talbot, took out a full-page advert in the South Wales Argus to write about the 'absurd and tragic' decision to demolish the mural.

The mural’s future has been on public record since March 2012, when a planning decision and separate public consultation confirmed that the mural would have to be demolished and the preferred option as a result of the consultation was for it to be reproduced on tiles.

More recently, as Cadw did not list the mural and Newport City Council did not have £625,000 to remove and preserve it, we understand that these decisions have been difficult to accept for Newport residents both near and far.

The council found Mr Sheen’s letter very interesting. It is forward-thinking and contains some practical suggestions which the council will consider.

We also echo Mr Sheen’s call to “focus on how we can celebrate the past, connect it to the present and look hopefully to the future”.

We are currently asking all members of the public to give us their views on a new commemoration of the Chartists details of which are on the council’s website.

– Newport City Council spokesperson

Michael Sheen open letter criticises mural demolition

The South Wales Argus has published an open letter from Welsh actor Michael Sheen to the people of Newport, criticising the local council for demolishing the Chartist Mural in the city centre.

Michael Sheen has taken out a full page advert in the South Wales Argus to write about the mural. Credit: PA

The Hollywood star was born in Newport, and brought up in Port Talbot.

The mural, which depicts the 1839 Chartist uprising to free political prisoners, was pulled down two weeks ago to make space for a new shopping centre, amid protests from local people.

Sheen writes: "the vicious irony of something created to celebrate those who risked much for the good of all, being wiped out without consulting the people themselves, and under the auspices of a Labour-led City Council serving the needs of profit above all else, is both absurd as well as tragic."

The demolition of the Chartist Mural has been hugely controversial in Newport. Credit: Viewer's picture

He also says: "That so little was done, or was able to be done, by us, in order to stop this from happening, brings shame to us all."

The actor urges people to spread the word about the Chartists, and has some suggestions on how a new mural could be created.

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